Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, Founder of the Movement for Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has lambasted those linking Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike to the ongoing military operations in Oyingbo Local Government Area of the state.
Uwazuruike said it was unacceptable and irresponsible to claim that Wike was killing Igbos because the Army started a military operation to fish out hoodlums, who killed its operatives and took their rifles in the council.
He said the development in Oyingbo was a direct consequence of an order issued by the Leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, directing members of the outlawed group to kill soldiers, policemen and burn police stations.
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He said the military was known for conducting operations in areas where soldiers were killed and in extreme cases burnt down communities in retaliation like in Odi and Zaki Biam.
Uwazuruike, however, said the operation in Oyingbo was still within the rules of engagement of the military, insisting it had nothing to do with the Igbos and commended the security commanders for their professional conduct.
He said: “Sometimes in 2001 and 2002, the youths of Odi killed some soldiers in Odi and Obasanjo sent the military. They wiped Odi out.
“They killed many people in Odi and burnt Odi down. The then President of IYC, Felix Tuodolor, invited me to Odi.
“I went to Odi as a MASSOB leader and saw the devastation there, I cried bitterly. Many people were killed.
“At the same time, the people of Zaki Biam killed some soldiers, Obasanjo also sent soldiers and Zaki Biam was brought down irrespective of the fact that many generals are from that place. So, calling what is happening in Rivers State an Igbo thing is rubbish.
“Nyesom Wike is not killing any Igbo man. It is not an Igbo thing. Nyesom Wike has no capacity to command the Army to kill anybody in Rivers State.
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“It is only the Commander in Chief that can do so like Obasanjo did. It is not within the powers of Wike to stop the army from killing those who killed their own. Wike didn’t order the army in Odi and Zaki Biam.
” So, these people who go about on the internet talking rubbish and claiming that Wike is killing Igbo’s should stop speaking for us.
“The Army are killing those who killed their own. This thing has nothing to do with #EndSARS. The #EndSARS were doing their thing until some people went to tollgate and killed some people.
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“Then someone in London (Kanu) started that minute to say kill army, kill police, burn houses. Then his supporters in Oyingbo started killing. He gave them the instruction. It was on tape. Prevention is better than cure.
“All these people who are talking, you should prevent. When someone is talking everybody is worried. This thing you are saying will bring cataclysm. It will bring destruction. Where is he now? Then you are bringing the issue of Wike there.
“Wike is an Igbo man. Forget about all these sentiments. We all knew what happened in Rivers state immediately after the war when Umuokoro was changed to Rumuokoro, Umuola was changed to Rumuola and Obigbo was changed to Oyingbo.
“It was not Wike that changed them. And it is not someone in London ranting on radio that will change them back to their normal forms now.
“You cannot come to Oyingbo now and say it must be named Obigbo. Who are you? You are trying to redefine the history of a people. Even if it should take place it is not you. You are bringing problems unnecessarily”.
Uwazuruike, in an interview monitored on YouTube, commended the security commanders for carrying out the ongoing operation in Oyingbo professionally and not allowing the repeat of Odi and Zaki Biam in Oyingbo.
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He said prominent Igbo leaders were quiet because they were not happy with what Kanu was doing using the name of the Igbos especially commanding people to burn and kill.
He said: “You are holding some people, whatever you say they must do. You ask them to kill the army and security officials without knowing the consequences.
“I am even happy that Wike and some security men are conducting themselves professionally. Otherwise they would have destroyed Oyingbo the way Odi was destroyed.
“So all these people bringing Igbo sentiment are not speaking for us. All the prominent Igbo people are not speaking because nobody is happy with what is happening.
“Can you imagine one Nnamdi Kanu commanding the youths to burn and kill? He even said that the leader of Ohaneze should be executed.
“Some who are not Igbos will be asking us why is that every time Igbo’s are killed. Did we tell you that Igbos are killed in Rivers? Those who are killed in Oyingbo are those who killed soldiers. They know those who killed them and they should go after them”.
Uwazuruike said the activities of Kanu was negatively affecting everybody in Igbo land and hindering the operations of genuine groups fighting for the freedom of the Southeast.
He said: “About four days ago, my men who were coming to resume duties in Owerri from Anambra State. They were in their uniform and the army accosted them near Owerri. Thee said they were MASSOB security men. They carried them to Obinze. I wanted to speak to the guys they refused.
“Early in the morning the next day, the soldiers stormed my place to verify if actually they were my men. I said yes. They promised to release them since they are not IPOB people. Since today, they are being kept because of Nnamdi Kanu.
“My men used to come from anywhere in the Southeast with such cloths, nobody disturbs them but now it is difficult because of Nnamdi Kanu. So, everybody is suffering it.
“What people should concentrate is prevention and not when it happens you begin to apportion blames that it is Wike that is killing Ndigbo. Go and kill a soldier and see whether army will not come after you”.